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Carlyle was spitting and snarling just like Begbie; SICKENING: A STAR-STUDDED EVENING THAT DESCENDED INTO THE GUTTER.

THE evening began well with the premiere of Pierce Brosnan's film The Thomas Crown Affair.

As well as the Bond star, his 007 colleagues Robert Carlyle and Robbie Coltrane were also at the Odeon Quay.

It was the perfect start to the 53rd Edinburgh Film Festival - and I was looking forward to the aftershow party at the Museum of Scotland.

When I arrived, it was everything I had imagined a top film premiere night would be.

Pierce and his Bond friends mingled with sports stars in the sumptuous foyer.

Lights splashed colour up the walls and there were tables around the edges of the massive room with free food and drink.

A marble pond with goldfish added to the illustrious feeling that the guests were somehow enjoying a taste of the world inhabited by Thomas Crown.

The atmosphere was very convivial, with people eating and talking at tables on either side of the pond, listening to the band or standing in groups.

Brosnan, Coltrane and Carlyle posed for pictures together and were all smiles as they clowned around for the cameras. I was working on another story about Pierce Brosnan's stepfather Bill Carmichael, who is Scottish, and I wasn't interested in Carlyle.

The party, although good, wasn't a wild affair and, by 12.30am, I was thinking of leaving.

I had been wandering around the room when I spotted Bill and began talking to him. We chatted and I took a picture of him.

After Bill and I had talked,, I went to the far side of the room to speak to the office on the mobile phone.

I was around 30 feet away from Bill as I noticed he was speaking to Pierce and was wondering if I should ask them to pose for a snap when a snarling and spitting Robert Carlyle appeared from nowhere.

He looked just like Begbie, his character in Trainspotting, minus the moustache, and was shouting: "You're that c*** Rick Fulton, aren't you?"

I didn't know why he was being so agressive but, before I had time to answer, he tried to knee me in the groin but caught my inner thigh.

I hadn't spoken to him or tried to speak to him all night, so I asked what his problem was. He shouted: "What's my problem? What's my problem?" He then headbutted me, which made me lose my balance and fall against the back wall.

I was stunned and shocked that Carlyle would do this, one of Scotland's most talented and admired actors.

I began to crouch in a defensive position as he continued to hit me.

Two years ago, I revealed the secret date of Carlyle's wedding to Anastasia.

All the newspapers had been chasing it, although I was the only journalist to get the story. That is the only reason I could think of that Carlyle was so angry. I had never even met him before.

A friend of Carlyle's then appeared and dragged him off me.

While he was doing that, Anastasia joined in and also started hitting me: She asked: "Do you know what you've done. Do you know the pain you caused?"

Her pinched face twisted into a mask of hate as she was shouting at me inches from my nose.

I stood my ground, continuing to ask what the problem was as she kept hitting me over the head with the palm of her hand.

Carlyle's friend was having difficulty keeping her off me. At this point, I remember seeing Carlyle's beige jacket out of the corner of my right eye - but I don't know if the blows to my head were from him.

Then Tommy Flanagan, another friend of Carlyle's, turned up and joined in, belting me across the right hand side of my head.

I was left reeling - I've never spoken to Flanagan.

I had been trying to find somewhere to escape to and found myself to the right hand side of a makeshift bar.

I was trapped with nowhere to run. I was in shock and couldn't believe that the rest of the party weren't trying to intervene.

I touched my nose and felt blood. I was so numb I could hardly put my right foot forward.

As Anastasia continued to scream at me, a security guard appeared and put me in a half nelson, saying: "I think it's time for you to leave."

I told him that I had done nothing wrong but he pushed me out of the main door.

I stood outside in the fresh air, dazed and shaken, wondering why a man in Carlyle's privileged position would humiliate himself so publicly.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Fulton, Rick
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 18, 1999
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